Caring for Indra Prasad Bhattarai
$6,358 raised
101% of $6.3k goal
35 contributors
16 Days left

SUMMARY

 

This fundraiser is to help pay for the medical treatment of Indra Prasad Bhattarai, who has a brain tumor. Indra Prasad, or “Buwa”, is the father of my close friend Sudan, and this effort is to help Sudan and his family deal with the medical expenses associated with caring for Buwa’s condition.

 

 

THE MEDICAL ISSUES

 

A few months ago, my close friend Sudan's father, Indra Prasad Bhattarai, 53 years old, collapsed near his home in the village of Archale, in Nuwakot District of Central Nepal. A family friend found him along the path and brought him home, and then Sudan's wife brought him to Kathmandu for treatment and evaluation. Sudan was stuck working abroad in Qatar at the time, but has since come home (more below).

 

After a series of tests, the doctors determined that he had an advanced stage brain tumor: "an enhancing extra axial hyperdense lesion in the left frontal lobe with mild perilesional adema - likely Meningioma." Meningioma is a tumor that grows on the tissue that covers the brain - thankfully the biopsy indicated that the tumor was benign, but because the tumor was extremely dense and putting pressure on his brain, it required surgery.

 

All told, his father spent 65 days in the hospital, waiting to be strong enough for surgery (he also has other heart health complications) and recovering after the required surgical procedures. Luckily, the doctors were able to remove most of the tumor and his father has now been released from the hospital. That said, he requires care, behavior remains erratic, and he needs sevearl medicines and routine checkups for the next few years. These kinds of tumors often recur, unfortunately. The long-term survival rate for someone of his age is just above 50%. His father also has a few other medical problems that complicate the issue, such as heart problems, which also need to be monitored.

 

For now, Sudan’s father is out of danger, but the main problems are the significant cost of these initial medical procedures (health insurance is uncommon and unavailable to most Nepalis) and the cost of ongoing care - which is overwhelmingly expensive for Sudan and his family, who have faced several problems in recent years.

 

 

COMPOUNDING PROBLEMS

 

For many years, Sudan and his family have struggling to make ends meet, and they have faced repeated crises and challenges. Between 2011 and 2015, they spent several years caring for their son Avi who had a life-threatening and debilitating spinal tumor - after several procedures, Avi has recovered fully and leads a happy, mobile, and studious life. In early 2015, Sudan decided to migrate to the Gulf for work (like so many Nepalis). Just a few months later in April 2015, their family home in Nuwakot was destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. Sudan came home to try to fix the house and shift his children to a school in Kathmandu, but then he couldn’t find work, and he was forced to migrate abroad again. For the past two and a half years Sudan has been working in the Gulf (first Abu Dhabi and then Doha) trying to send money home for his wife Susmita and their children, but like many Nepalis his pay was very low and has struggled to save anything or send money home.

 

For more than a year, Sudan was trying to leave this job in Qatar... while struggling with his own health issues and depression. Each month, he was only able to send home about $100 per month, which wasnt even enough to cover his sons’ school fees. Only now, because his father is sick, has he been able to come home to care for his father - a few close friends and I helped him pay his migration debts to make this possible. Sudan finally reached Kathmandu in September, and he is searching for a job here... but he is already in significant debt, first from migration debts and now from the medical expenses. Monthly expenses exceed their family's joint income, so they are going further and further into debt each month, and they are not able to save anything. Further, the interest rate on the loans are extremely high, about 2.5% per month - as it commonly is for many Nepalis without capital and access to the formal banking sector (and there are no credit cards in Nepal). In no uncertain terms, they are currently locked into a debt trap. I say all this just to provide more context - to explain why its so hard for a working class Nepali family to afford medical care and pay bills that may seem small in the international context.

 

In a letter to me and a few other close friends, Sudan recently said: “I am in desperate need. I have tried all possible source to arrange money for the surgery… It’s very sad to share this story. My life has enough tragedy, I can’t raise my head up due to the illness in the family one after another.” 

 

If we can raise some funds to cover the medical costs for Indra Prasad’s treatment (see financial details below) then hopefully Sudan and his family can finally have a fresh start.

 

To be clear: All of the money from this crowdfunding effort will be dedicated to helping Sudan and his family pay expenses related to treating and monitoring his father's brain tumor. I have included some other information about the family’s precarious financial situation to provide some context, and to illustrate why his family is struggling overall - but those are separate matters from the medical issue at hand. Again [and I say this also to the hosts of the this crowdfunding platform] all of the funds raised here will be exclusively to cover the costs of Indra Prasad’s treatment and other future medical expenses.

 

 


SUMMARY OF MEDICAL EXPENSES

  

The cost of medical treatment so far has been about $4300. This total includes the cost of the surgical procedures, 65 days in the government hospital, repeated doctor’s visits and consultations, MRI scans, and related diagnoses and treatment at another hospital specializing in heart issues. Sudan has taken out loans to pay for these expenses, so we want to pay back these amounts quickly before the interest compounds - at around 2.5% per month, the total has already become $4,500.

 

In addition to the current costs, We hope to raise another $1,800 to help him cover future treatments and other medical expenses. To provide more detail about this estimate - the costs of his regular medicines is about $30 per month (so about $700 for two years). In addition, his father must make bimonthly hospital visits that often require tests and an MRI scans that cost about $110 per scan in Nepal - so a total of about $150 per visit, times six visits for this coming year is an estimate $900. We are then estimating another $300 for hidden costs related to transportation and additional testing (i.e. for his heart condition) and to pay for the transaction fees on this site.

 

Based on all this information - which I have verified by checking bills and talking with other Nepali doctors in my own family - we seek to raise $6,300, which is the minimum that Sudan and his family need to help care for his father. While these medical expenses may seem small to people living in the US and other more developed countries, the total is more than Sudan’s annual income, on which his extended family depends... so they really do need your/our help right now.

 

 

ON ASKING FOR HELP

 

I have spent most of the last seven years living and working in Nepal doing various kinds of research and volunteer work. Over this time, I have witnessed various patterns of suffering - large and small, systemic and individual, catastrophic and unseen - and I have tried to help people in need in various ways. Sudan’s case is a unique one that I know very well, as a result of personal relationships built up with him and his family over many years. Against a background of massive suffering and thousands of worthy causes and sad stories, small stories like this can seem insignificant. But we all have to pick and choose the causes we fight for, to try to make small differences as well as big ones, to help where and when we can.

 

Sudan is one of my oldest friends in Nepal. My life intersected with his based on chance seven years ago, I have know his family for just as long (having lived with them for 3 months in 2012 and 2013), and I know his character and personal situation very well. He is a good and honest man who has tried to do the best for his family, but who keeps getting knocked down by one wave after another. I have also known Indra Prasad Bhattarai for many years - he is widely known in his community for being a very lively, overactive, and hilarious man, his nickname is “Subba” because he is always walking around bringing the news. He was always extremely friendly and kind to me. Its hard to see his father suffering, and to see Sudan and his whole family struggling like this.

 

And so, after talking with Sudan and his father several times over the past few months, discussing the situation with a few of our close friends, and then helping Sudan get back to Nepal - I decided, once again, to try to help by initiating this fundraiser. If you have the means to make a small contribution, then please help Sudan take care of his father and his family.

 

Please consider making a contribution if you can. Thank you for your time and your consideration of this small but worthy cause. Thank you for your help.

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